5 Tips for Enjoying a Staycation on a Budget

By Shannon Gurnee
In California
April 9, 2016
3 Comments
1454 Views

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A few weeks ago, our family headed down to Southern California for a much needed staycation. We only took half of our crew (3 of our 6 kids) this time around, but after our experience with Extended Stay America, we would definitely do it again with all 6 kids! We headed down on Friday after work and stopped to get dinner at TGIFridays. Then we made the rest of the drive to Extended Stay America in Simi Valley. The next day we headed to Magic Mountain for a day of roller coasters, food and fun and then headed back to our hotel room to relax and enjoy some television as a family. On Sunday, we leisurely hung out in our hotel room and then headed back home.

We love staycations because they give us a chance to travel in the beautiful state we live in and are great for a family on a budget. Check out these 5 Tips for Enjoying a Staycation on a Budget.

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5 Tips for Enjoying a Staycation on a Budget

1 – Plan your activities and know your budget before making the trip. You’ll want to have an idea of what activities you want to do during your staycation and set a reasonable amount for your trip. That means an amount you know you are likely going to spend and not just what looks good in the check register.

2 – Pack all the essentials. While going on a staycation is fun, you aren’t going to want to spend money on clothes that were forgotten. Pack the clothing essentials (like pants, shorts, shirts, jacket, socks, underwear) and toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant). While some of the toiletries may be available at no cost at your hotel, the clothing items won’t be. Save that money for fun stuff on your staycation.

3 – Look for discounts. If you are planning on going to a theme park or other attractions, be sure to look online for the best deal you can find. This may mean shopping around 2-3 weeks prior to your trip. A lot of places offer discounts for AAA, Costco or military. You may also get discounts based on the quantity you purchase.

4 – Limit eating out. A lot of money can be spent on eating out, so it’s a good idea to stop by the grocery store and pick up snacks, waters and other food items for the trip. In our case, we stayed at a hotel with a kitchenette, which was awesome because we could cook our own meals right there in the hotel room. We could also keep drinks cool in the regular-sized refrigerator and heat up foods in the microwave.

5 – Stay in a budget-friendly, but safe and comfortable hotel. We loved staying at Extended Stay America during our staycation! Not only is it a great value, but it also has a refrigerator, microwave, dishes and more!

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Enjoying Our Stay at Extended Stay America

When we arrived at Extended Stay America, I headed in to the Lobby to check in. It was a cozy and clean Lobby and had good lighting. The staff was very friendly and helpful and were expecting me (that’s always a great feeling)! When I went up to the desk, I immediately noticed a sign for Free Wi-Fi – yes! Ok yeah, that’s the blogger in me, but it is always great when there isn’t a fee to pay for Wi-Fi, right?

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#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

Once I checked us in, I headed out to our car with the room key and parked closer to the entrance where our room was. The kids were really excited when we walked into our hotel room and they saw the refrigerator filled with goodies (**Note: the food was provided to us as a gift from ESA). I loved Extended Stay America, not only because it was comfortable, but because it had a kitchenette, which was complete with a refrigerator, microwave, dish strainer for drying dishes, pots and pans, dishes and flatware. They had enough dishes for our family and it was awesome!

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#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

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I did have a few challenges preparing breakfast, but I made it happen. For instance, I made eggs and sausage in the morning, but didn’t have a plastic bowl to mix them in or salt and pepper to flavor them. Not a problem though because I went to the front desk and got some salt and pepper and then mixed them in a pan we had. It worked out great!

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#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

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In the morning, Extended Stay America had a Continental Breakfast available as well. There was coffee, tea, hot chocolate, muffins, granola bars, oranges, and a few other goodies. I was able to grab the boys some chocolate muffins, which they loved, as well as some granola bars and oranges.

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Our room had a desk, which was great for charging our phone and tablets, as well as playing games. It was also a great place for the kids to eat their food. Next to the desk was a nice flat screen television. We brought our Roku from home and were able to watch some of our favorite shows from Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. In fact, we watched Man Versus Food and Psych and really enjoyed them both!

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Our bathroom was nice. It had enough towels for our family (something you don’t see in a lot of hotel rooms). There was also goodies next to the sink, including shampoo, conditioner and soap. Plus, there was plenty of space to spread out my beauty products and makeup (hee hee).

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#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

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In our room, we had two double beds, but needed to order a roll away for extra comfort. The staff was amazing! We called the Front Desk and asked if we could get a roll away bed and extra sheets. They were super quick to respond and friendly! I’m so glad the room was a big one because it fit perfectly at the end of our bed.

#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

#Staycation #Travel #TravelWithKids #ESA #ad

Extended Stay America is a great place to stay when planning your staycation! With the average family vacation costing between 5-10% of a family’s income, Extended Stay America serves as an idea accommodation for vacationers seeking an extended trip as longer stays with the brand result in lower room rates. Additionally, Extended Stay America’s practical perfect homelike amenities, including spacious guest rooms, on-site laundry and a fully equipped in-room kitchen in every room, allow guests to redirect money toward enjoying the destination and creating memories!  Thank you Extended Stay America for making our staycation great!!!

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Have you ever stayed at Extended Stay America before?
What did you like about it?

About Has 1215 Posts

Shannon Gurnee (formerly Shannon Gosney) is the author of The Mommy-Files, a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

3 Responses to “5 Tips for Enjoying a Staycation on a Budget”

  1. Katy says:

    We live in Southern California and just love Staycations! There are so many fun things to do in the area that are exciting to explore. In fact, next weekend we are going to the mountains to stay in a cabin for a few days in Idyllwild. I can’t wait!

  2. Sarah L says:

    I’ve never stayed there but your trip looks wonderful. Good to have a kitchen to keep your food costs down.

  3. ellen beck says:

    Great tips! I like how this place had a kitchenette. It is amazing what eating out costs! I think you should enjoy one or two places, but every meal is a bit much. We also look for places that havef free breakfasts!

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